Eric Defrauded. Police Called. People Arrested.

First, I want to assure you I will gladly and fully cooperate in any investigation and gladly testify and cooperate in any way. I want the people who did this to stay in jail for a very, very long time.

Here’s what transpired so far. This is edited to remove details from an ongoing investigation.

On the morning of 2-7-08 I received a call at work from Marvin at the Bank Atlantic in Lauderhill, Florida. He asks if I’ve written checks to Renee Johnson and Eldora Golden. I tell him no. He asks me again if I’m absolutely sure because I had also written one yesterday. I tell him I didn’t write one yesterday either. He says he’ll call the police and they’ll call me back.

Around noon I speak to Marvin because I hadn’t heard back. He said they were arrested by Detective Charles Smith. I leave a message for Detective Smith but don’t hear back. Marvin also tells me to call the Metro-Dade Police (where I live) which I also do. I leave work early because I am too upset to concentrate. They come to my home around 330 or so. The detective asks for my Lauderhill case number which I don’t have. He calls Detective Smith but gets no answer. Then he’s directed to the BSO who finally tells him it was actually processed by Detective Alexis. The Miami Detective (Werente) asks me to call Detective Alexis and get some information while he does some paperwork. I then put Detective Alexis on the phone with the Metro Detective. They talk while I sit and try not to panic any worse.

Both Detectives Alexis and Werente we very nice considering I was pretty shaken and in an especially cranky mood over this. I’m glad everyone was patient with me.

At this point all the paperwork still shows one check because the bank informed me and Detective Werente when he called from my house that only the one check was cashed. However, when I get to the bank, their computer shows three checks are cashed effectively wiping out most of the account. Eventually I hope to recover this, though the bank says it will take up to 30 days.

I had originally suspected Maid Brigade’s cleaning crew because someone obviously got a hold of a paper check. I don’t use paper checks and I’ve only written a few in six months and half were to Maid Brigade. Most of my banking is done using on-line checks.

I had the fax copies of the checks used to defraud. My original checks were Smithsonian Space Logo checks and are small. These checks are completely different colour, shape, and size.

Now, here’s the kicker. The fake checks are encoded with my HOME address. My PO BOX address is on my real checks. None of my financial data is sent to my home address with the SOLE exception of Bank Atlantic and the IRS. I don’t give anyone my home address. Even my utility and credit card bills go to my PO BOX address. I think we can rule the IRS out as a feasible suspect. That leaves a Bank Employee with access to my data. That also explains the signatures and the fact someone got checks printed with the right check numbers, MICR encoding, and such.

Further when Detective Werente and I called in the afternoon trying to get information from the bank for his paperwork, they also said an ATM card was issued on the account. That requires a social security number because they’re debit cards. That information can only come from the bank. It certainly rules out the maid service. I still have my original checks with these numbers in my possession.

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